Jose Mourinho began his reign as Manchester United manager with a trophy as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a late header to beat Leicester in the FA Community Shield at Wembley.
Jesse Lingard, who scored the final goal of the Louis van Gaal era with the winner in the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, put United ahead before half-time when he ran 40 yards and beat four men to slot home.
League champions Leicester replied when Marouane Fellaini’s dreadful back-pass let Jamie Vardy in to round David de Gea and score.
But summer signing Ibrahimovic, 34, typically had the final word with seven minutes to go, rising to meet Antonio Valencia’s cross and beat Kasper Schmeichel via the post.
The outspoken Swede had stated beforehand that the shield would be the first trophy he would be bringing home as a United player, and so it proved for the veteran striker.
Leicester had brought Mourinho’s second stint in charge of Chelsea to an end with a 2-1 defeat at King Power Stadium in December on their way to the title but this was a much happier occasion for the Portuguese.
Mourinho has even more reason to be cheerful ahead of the start of the new Premier League season next week as United announced before the game that Paul Pogba is set to have a medical before a potential return to Old Trafford for what would be a world record fee.
Watch the goals from Wembley
New-look United – same old problems
It took less than a minute for the United fans to start chanting their new manager’s name, but it is going to take a lot longer for Mourinho to make this team his own, even with his recent purchases.
The Portuguese warned this week it would take time to change his players’ mentality after two years of former boss Louis van Gaal’s regimented safety-first style, and he was right.
For much of the game they did not look very different to how they did under the Dutchman, with their continuing lack of creativity their most obvious failing, something Lingard’s fine individual effort could not disguise.
Their summer signings so far could not change that, especially midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who only appeared from the bench in stoppage time. Along with Pogba, he will be expected to create more chances for United’s strikers than they got on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic saw little of the ball in the Leicester box until he scored the winner with only his second effort at goal and his partnership with Wayne Rooney is clearly in its early stages.
At the back, Eric Bailly made a solid enough start but is still learning his lines in English football – he was booked for barging over Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and could easily have had a second yellow card for another clumsy challenge.
There was a bizarre moment in injury time when Juan Mata, himself a 63rd-minute substitute, was replaced by Mkhitaryan, to the Spaniard’s apparent displeasure.
No Kante, but same old Leicester
N’Golo Kante has left for Chelsea but not much else has changed about champions Leicester, or the tactics that brought them their surprise success last season.
Rather than start with any of his six summer signings, Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri brought in long-serving Andy King to replace Kante in the heart of his midfield, and his side continued to sit back, absorb the opposition’s possession and threaten on the break through Vardy’s pace.
Like last season, they also threatened from set-pieces, with Shinji Okazaki heading against the bar from an early corner.
It was only at the break, with his side trailing, that Ranieri tried something different, bringing on summer signing Ahmed Musa and Demarai Gray.
Nigeria international Musa, who cost a club record £16m from CSKA Moscow, had already made a splash in pre-season with his performance against Barcelona and he made an instant impact with his part in Leicester’s equaliser.
It was Fellaini who played the final ball but Musa had burst forward to put United on the back foot in the first place.
Two more new faces, midfielder Nampalys Mendy and defender Luis Hernandez, came on for the last half hour without making much of a mark but with the Champions League putting extra demands on Ranieri’s squad, we are sure to see more of them in the weeks to come.
Man of the match – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
What they said
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “It feels good. First official game, we play for the trophy and we win. That’s what it’s all about, winning trophies.
“This is my 31st trophy, collective trophy, and I’m super happy. This is why I came and hopefully I can win much more than this. Our team is something big going on. We’re at the beginning, but we begin with a trophy, so it’s a good start.”
United manager Jose Mourinho: “The first half performance was much better than the second. The team isn’t fit enough yet.
“When Leicester increased the pace, they had three quick players and changed the game. It’s an important victory but we have lots of work to do.
“I would be not ambitious if I said it was a fantastic performance. It wasn’t. It’s always important to start with a trophy.”
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: “Congratulations to Manchester United, but also to my players as we made a great match. I thought the minimum we deserved was penalties, but when you play against great champions, this can happen.
“They knew our counter attacking strength well and did everything to stop us. We’re not at 100%, but it’s positive.”
Community Shield in numbers
- 21: The number of times Manchester United have won the Community Shield, a record figure (17 outright wins and four shared titles).
- 20 years: Jesse Lingard is the first Manchester United player to score in the FA Cup final and subsequent Community Shield since Eric Cantona in 1996.
- 97: No player had more touches than Leicester’s Danny Drinkwater.
- 3: The FA Cup winners have now won the Community Shield in each of the last three seasons.
(Statistics include the Charity Shield, which was the Community Shield’s name between 1908 and 2002)
Leicester begin the defence of their Premier League title against newly promoted – and currently manager-less – Hull on Saturday. Mourinho’s first competitive game in charge of United comes on Sunday at Bournemouth.
Match ends, Leicester City 1, Manchester United 2.
Second Half ends, Leicester City 1, Manchester United 2.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Antonio Valencia.
Attempt blocked. Demarai Gray (Leicester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution, Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan replaces Juan Mata because of an injury.
Attempt blocked. Daniel Drinkwater (Leicester City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Riyad Mahrez.
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Eric Bailly.
Offside, Manchester United. David de Gea tries a through ball, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is caught offside.
Foul by Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United).
Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Leicester City. Leonardo Ulloa replaces Robert Huth.
Substitution, Manchester United. Morgan Schneiderlin replaces Wayne Rooney.
Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Demarai Gray (Leicester City).
Corner, Leicester City. Conceded by Marcos Rojo.
Goal! Leicester City 1, Manchester United 2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) header from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Antonio Valencia with a cross.
Attempt missed. Ahmed Musa (Leicester City) header from very close range is just a bit too high. Assisted by Robert Huth with a headed pass.
Substitution, Leicester City. Jeffrey Schlupp replaces Christian Fuchs.
Attempt blocked. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Wayne Rooney.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Demarai Gray.
Foul by Eric Bailly (Manchester United).
Demarai Gray (Leicester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Daniel Drinkwater.
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jamie Vardy (Leicester City).
Attempt missed. Luis Hernández (Leicester City) right footed shot from long range on the right is high and wide to the left.
Eric Bailly (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Eric Bailly (Manchester United).
Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Manchester United. Marcus Rashford replaces Anthony Martial.
Substitution, Manchester United. Marcos Rojo replaces Luke Shaw.
Attempt saved. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Marouane Fellaini.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Substitution, Manchester United. Juan Mata replaces Jesse Lingard because of an injury.
Substitution, Leicester City. Luis Hernández replaces Danny Simpson.
Substitution, Leicester City. Nampalys Mendy replaces Andy King.
Delay in match Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) because of an injury.
Substitution, Manchester United. Ander Herrera replaces Michael Carrick.
Foul by Eric Bailly (Manchester United).